Not only has my undergraduate career helped me learn the fundamental principles of the industry, but so have the opportunities I’ve taken along the way.
And, through this journey, I found the following attributes are beneficial for anyone looking to be successful in the PR industry.
1. Brand You
Start branding yourself early. Make sure not only your resume, cover letter and business cards are cohesive, but be aware of how you’re portraying yourself on social media.
Employers will go to all lengths to figure out exactly who you really are and what you put out there for people to see.
2. Professional Portfolio
Don’t just rely on your resume to tell employers about your accomplishments. Get creative. Think outside the box and find other ways to display your work.
Nothing’s wrong with the traditional printed documents in a leather binder, but is this really what employers want to see?
Kick it up a notch and wow them. Personally, I use Wix.com as a platform for illustrating my work, but there are so many different platforms you can choose from, so find the one that fits you best.
This is a huge part of any career you are pursuing. Knowing someone on the inside of a company or agency is almost as important as having a perfect resume.
Networking is not a hard skill to learn, but you must be willing to go out and meet people. You never know who you might meet or who someone you already have contact with might know.
And, while you’re networking, don’t be afraid to sell yourself.
We’ve all heard about the “elevator pitch”, but do you have one prepared? If not, figure yours out and give it to everyone you meet, even if they don’t have a job to offer. Relationships can to lead to jobs.
4. Find Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Admitting your strengths and weaknesses is hard to do, especially if it’s in a work setting. I always thought I knew my strengths and weaknesses, but after referencing ‘Strengths Finder 2.0’, I had a more in-depth viewpoint of myself.
If you’re trying to succeed in the PR industry, or just trying to better yourself, I’d definitely recommend this book.
5. Job Hunting
Finding a job can be stressful, but only if you make it that way. Don’t expect to get your dream job right out of college, it may take a year or more until you finally find exactly what you want to do.
Take this time to figure out what it is exactly you are looking for. If you can’t find a job right away, there’s nothing wrong with taking an internship, even if you already have one under your belt.
Many companies expect their employees to start out as interns before they’re hired as part of the team.
6. Stay Relevant
This doesn’t just mean staying up to date with your social media sites. It’s expanding your horizons by listening to podcasts, participating in Twitter chats, attending luncheons, etc.
Public relations is an evolving industry and the people on the inside are constantly learning. So with these tips in mind, you can better yourself both personally, and as a PR professional.
Jillian Berger is an Assistant Account Executive at GlynnDevins an Advertising Agency located in Overland Park, Kansas. Jillian is a member of KCPRSA and a former vice president of UCMPRSSA. Jillian has a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from the University of Central Missouri. Connect with Jillian on LinkedIn and Twitter (@JillianBPR)